The WHELF+ Interlending Scheme

In January 2018, WHELF members came together to launch a scheme of free, reciprocal, inter-library borrowing. This was made possible by our shared use of the Ex-Libris Alma Library Management System, which allows us to use core system functionality to lend print and digital resources to each other, free of charge.

We monitored usage during an initial pilot phase, and in August 2018 implemented a tiered rota system, to ensure that usage of the scheme is distributed fairly. This rota is now monitored by the WHELF+ Working Group and adjusted every four months as usage dictates.

The scheme has been an amazing success, in 2022 the member libraries saved nearly £34K in total. As well as the undoubted financial benefit, it has also led to much greater co-operation and knowledge sharing between participating institutions.

The scheme proved so successful, that in 2021, with the backing of Ex-Libris and the British Library, we began rolling out membership to non-WHELF institutions (hence the ‘+’ in ‘WHELF+’!). There are now nearly twenty institutions, covering a good geographical spread and a wide range of teaching and research specialities, reaping the benefits of WHELF+ membership; and, with more institutions expressing an interest in joining, and the potential of using new Alma functionality to automate processes further, the scheme has a bright future.

Read the WHELF+ SLA to learn more about how the scheme operates

If you would like to know about the scheme, please email Jenny McNally, WHELF LMS Business Manager

Current WHELF+ members:

  • Aberystwyth University
  • Bangor University
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Cardiff University
  • Harper Adams University
  • London School of Economics
  • Natural History Museum
  • Northumbria University
  • Swansea University
  • University of Cumbria
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Salford
  • University of South Wales
  • University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  • University of Westminster
  • University of Winchester
  • Wrexham Glyndŵr University